Prigozhin accused the Ministry of Defense of stealing the victory near Soledar

The capture of Soledar, a small and completely destroyed Ukrainian city, the fighting for which lasted more than a month and led to numerous casualties on both sides, became a new “bone of contention” between the Wagner PMC and the Russian Ministry of Defense.

They are trying to steal victory from Wagner fighters, PMC chief Yevgeny Prigozhin said on Friday after the Russian military reported on the capture of Soledar after several weeks of intense fighting.

According to Prigozhin, “officials who want to stay in their places” pose a more serious threat to Wagner than the US, which has promised to put an end to the activities of the Russian PMC.

“They constantly try to steal the victory from PMC Wagner and talk about the presence of someone who is not clear, just to belittle their merits,” Prigozhin said.

Prigozhin, who recruited 40 thousand prisoners in prisons and threw them to break through the front in the Donetsk region announced about the capture of Soledar on January 11. The “entire territory” of the city has been taken “under control” and “a cauldron” has been formed in its center, he said on Wednesday and published photographs in the salt mines where Artyomsol, Ukraine’s largest plant, operated before the war.

Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation refuted Prigozhin’s statement on the same day and reported that the Airborne Forces blockaded the city, and the assault detachments entered the city.

Two days later, the Ministry of Defense announcedthat the city is still taken. This happened on the evening of January 12, Igor Konashenkov, official representative of the department, said at a briefing. According to him, the capture of Soledar will allow blocking the supply routes of the Ukrainian army, and then “taking into the cauldron the forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine remaining in it.”

The press service of Prigozhin’s Concord company responded by circulating a statement by the head of the League for the Defense of the Interests of Veterans of Local Wars and Military Conflicts, Andrei Troshev, who said that the reports of the Ministry of Defense were “surprising.”

“There was not a single paratrooper on Soledar, the paratroopers themselves confirm this. Soledar was taken solely by the efforts of the Wagner PMC fighters. And there is no need to offend the fighters by humiliating their merit, ”Troshin was indignant.

In the past, the St. Petersburg restaurateur, known as “Putin’s chef”, and then Prigozhin, who got rich on state contracts of the Ministry of Defense, according to US intelligence estimates, has a private army of 50 thousand people. Of these, 80% are former prisoners who are promised not only a pardon, but also a possible “pass to power” – up to seats in the United Russia party and chairs of officials and deputies of the State Duma.

Prigozhin has dramatically increased his influence, and in some cases, Russian troops are in a subordinate position to his PMC, John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said in late December, citing intelligence.

But Prigozhin, who grew bolder and began to criticize the generals, began to cause growing discontent among Vladimir Putin’s associates, told “Important stories” sources close to the president’s old friends, the FSB and the military.

According to them, Prigogine crossed the road the first deputy head of the presidential administration, Sergei Kiriyenko, in particular, invaded his area of ​​responsibility and is trying to influence the appointment and dismissal of officials, the publication claims. In addition, Kiriyenko does not like the fact that Prigozhin has launched a stormy activity in the self-proclaimed republics of Donbass, which he oversees.

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